The Weatherization Training Center at Pennsylvania College of Technology has officially changed its name to the National Sustainable Structures Center, a designation that reflects continuing opportunities to provide building-science and energy-conservation training to the commercial sector, complementing the training center's extensive experience in the residential field.
Since its inception in 1985, NSSC has taught more than 10,000 students in building-science and energy-conservation standards and techniques.
The noncredit courses have benefited employees already working in the weatherization field, as well as individuals seeking a career change - including the unemployed.
NSSC's reputation as a nationally recognized U.S. Department of Energy Legacy Weatherization Training Center is complemented by new partnerships and opportunities to work with industry and energy utilities in the commercial building sector.
"With hands-on instruction that remains true to Penn College's pre-eminence in applied technology education, the Weatherization Training Center has been a widely renowned model of workforce development," college President Davie Jane Gilmour said. "I have all confidence that the expanded NSSC designation will only enhance our position as a national provider of training and certification."
Starting in 2013, NSSC will expand its training program to offer Building Operator Certification and Commercial Building Re-tuning training in Pennsylvania and several other states.
Developed by the Northwest Energy Efficiency Council, BOC is a nationally recognized, competency-based training and certification program that offers facilities personnel the improved job skills and knowledge to transform workplaces into more comfortable, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly spaces.
"The rebranding of the center reflects the broader mission of providing building science and energy conservation training in both the commercial and residential fields," said Tracy L. Brundage, assistant vice president for workforce and economic development at Penn College.
"This move forward involves business and industry as corporate partners, collaborators, innovators, trainers/trainees and advisers; it acknowledges existing relationships and attracts adult learners from business and industry."
In addition to its location at Penn College's General Services Building in Williamsport, NSSC has a training location in Philadelphia at the Energy Efficient Buildings Hub at the Naval Shipyard.
A DOE Innovation Hub led by Penn State University, the site has a unique dual mission of improving energy efficiency in buildings and promoting regional economic growth and job creation.
As an EEB Hub member organization, NSSC received a subaward from Penn State for $105,050 to perform work with the Task 7 Team on Education and Workforce initiatives with a concentrated focus on Building Operator training.
The Philadelphia site will be key to Penn College's role as the core provider of the "train-the-trainer" Commercial Building Re-tuning initiative; NSSC is a subawardee of a $40,000 U.S. Department of Commerce grant to the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center to deliver that specialized instruction to the manufacturing sector through April 2014.
At both locations, NSSC provides training and technical assistance to government, industry, students and the public regarding building science and energy conservation.
Customized courses can also be developed to meet the specific training needs of an employer and offered on site, if preferred.
Through its partnerships with the EEB Hub and the BOC, the National Sustainable Structures Center is able to offer its comprehensive list of courses and certifications across a broader geographical area to better serve the building energy-conservation training needs of employers and professionals.